February 19th, 2006

dd2guy

how many angels could dance on the head of a pin?

Plot is really underrated in academia. It's underrated in academia because it's overrated everywhere else, but it's underrated nonetheless. Stories with exclusive emphasis on character and theme get boring: real life isn't "artsy," it is not a triumph of style over substance, it is not a horde of wandering consciousnesses. People remember events because events are important. They like stories where people do things. And perhaps it's easy to get so wrapped up in where the story goes that a storyteller will lose sight of how to get there--but a great story misleads a reader into thinking that the plot is the most important element, that the moment when Bilbo slays Smaug is memorable in and of itself (and not the product of two hundred pages of tension). That's the difference between workshop anthologies and true fiction--workshop anthologies are great writing, true fiction is great stories.

Every now and then, I remember this, and write a story of no literary value, and discover, once again, that writing is fun.

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hug

flashback

"But it was mutual at some point, wasn't it," I once said to a girl I knew from freshman year.

She paused. "Maybe," she said.

"I liked you and you liked me," I continued, distraught. "What happened?"

"Nothing," she said. "Nothing happened."
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